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VIDEO: Curator Talk with Stephan Kemperdick on the Bladelin Altarpiece

Curator Stephan Kemperdick (Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen Berlin) take us on a journey to discover the history and interpretative frameworks of Rogier van der Weyden’s Bladelin Altarpiece, a long-standing holding of the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin. The talk took place on November 4, 2020 as part of the 4A_Lab online seminar series.

4A_Lab, Stephan Kemperdick
Video preview: Rogier van der Weyden, Bladelin Triptych, centre panel (detail), 1445-50, oil on oak panel, 91 x 89 cm. Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.

Flemish painter Rogier van der Weyden (1399/1400–1464) was a central figure of Dutch painting in the second half of the 15th century. The Bladelin Altarpiece, also known as the Middelburg Altarpiece, is the only nativity scene attributed with certainty to van der Weyden. The focal point of the triptych is the central panel representing the birth of Christ, originally located at the center of the altar in the church of Saints Peter and Paul in Middelburg, Flanders. The work was named after the finance minister of the Burgundian State and treasurer of the Order of the Golden Fleece Pieter Bladelin (c. 1410–1472), who possibly ordered its commission around the year 1450. Since 1834, the painting has been part of the collection of the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin.

In this presentation, Dr. Stephan Kemperdick, curator of Early Netherlandish and Early German Painting at the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin (Staatliche Museen zu Berlin), discusses the genesis, compositional make-up, and iconographic attributes of van der Weyden’s masterpiece as he contextualizes the oeuvre in the wider social and artistic milieu of mid-15th-century Central Europe. The talk took place on November 4, 2020 in the framework of the 4A_Lab online seminar series.

About the Speaker


Stephan Kemperdick is curator of Early Netherlandish and Early German Painting at the Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (Berlin State Museums). He studied fine arts in Düsseldorf and art history at the Freie Universität Berlin (FU Berlin). Before his appointment at the Berlin State Museums, he served as assistant curator at the Städel Museum Frankfurt (1999–2002) and the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin (2003–2004), and as Curator of Old Master Paintings at the Kunstmuseum Basel (2005–2007). His publications include monographs and catalogues of early German and Netherlandish painting. He has curated and co-curated several exhibitions, including "The Early Portrait," Basel 2006; "Hans Holbein the Younger," Basel 2006; "The Master of Flémalle and Rogier van der Weyden," Frankfurt/ Berlin 2008/09; "The Road to Van Eyck," Rotterdam 2012/13; "The History of the Ghent Altarpiece," Berlin 2014; and "Holbein in Berlin," Berlin 2016.